with Horse and Hound

Nyquist Is Strong Kentucky Derby Favorite

Last week’s Florida Derby was a good shakeout for potential Kentucky Derby favorites. Nyquist and Mohemen, both undefeated, met to see who would get the short odds on the first Saturday in May. Nyquist won decisively and looks to go to Churchill Downs as the favorite. Seattle Slew was the last undefeated champion two-year-old to run as a Kentucky Derby favorite.

From the Florida Derby, Nyquist was shipped to Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, where he will train in the weeks leading up to May. His record stands at seven wins in as many races, four of them Grade I races. In his short career, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt has won $2,322,600 for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam. Jockey Mike Guttierrez, who rode Nyquist home for his Florida Derby win, is scheduled to be in the irons at Churchill Downs. This same owner-trainer-jockey team won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another in 2012.

Two potential issues with the horse could keep the team awake nights. Charlie Fenwick noted that Nyquist finished his winning stretch run on his left lead, which, Fenwick says, could simply be a green mistake or a sign of a future injury. And, after arriving at Keeneland, a blood test revealed an elevated white blood cell count. Heeding the blood test results, Nyquist’s return to training has been delayed a day or two.

Posted April 9, 2016